Ava DuVernay says she and Colin Kaepernick had a similar story in mind when it came time to create the Netflix limited series Colin in Black & White.
“It wasn’t just [a] story that appeal[ed] to me, it was a story that appealed to Colin Kaepernick as well and the things that we wanted to say about his early life,” DuVernay tells ABC Audio.
Serving as both co-creator and director, DuVernay says the six-episode journey allows viewers to see “how anyone’s early life really adds up to who they are today.”
“And it’s worthy of examination,” she says. “It’s worthy about thinking, ‘Where do I come from? And how do I get these thoughts in my head? And do I still believe those things? Or is this just a habit?’… And all of these questions that we embed in the piece.”
While the Kaepernick-centered series primarily focuses on Colin’s young-adult years after being adopted by a white family, DuVernay says the drama also showcases an experimental “new form” of storytelling which includes elements of animation, live action, and social commentary.
“I think some people think this is a documentary, it’s not,” she says. “Some people think it’s just a straight kind of celebrity childhood biopic thing. It’s not that either. And so discovering a new form for it was really challenging, but fun.”
Meanwhile, Jaden Michael, who plays a young Kaepernick, thanks DuVernay for consistently creating opportunities for people of color to tell these important stories.
“I think with time… we will have greater and more nuanced conversations,” he says. “And I think Colin in Black & White is a great way to start that conversation of ‘Let’s change it up a little bit."”
Colin in Black & White launches on Netflix Friday.
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